It strikes me that there's a need for a thread on the art and craft of writing commercial novels.
To that end, I'd like to start that discussion. I plan to put down my thoughts on the elements of professional-quality fiction. I'll answer questions, and go where ever the discussion leads. I'll do some notes on the business of writing too.
Here are my qualifications for starting this topic:
A workshop I help teach every year.
My mutant talent is to make my opinions sound like facts.
I have two basic rules: everything that's said should be true, and everything should be helpful.
There's one other thing that needs to be said, McIntyre's First Law: Under the right circumstances anything I tell you can be wrong.